Friday 27 April 2018

Colm O'Rourke: GAA should apologise to nobody when it is seeking special recognition from the Government

Páraic Duffy is right to push the GAA agenda in key areas of Irish life, says Colm O'Rourke

As I write this on the 15th of the month, I am reminded that it was on this day in 44 AD that Caesar was warned to "beware the ides of March". He did not heed the warning from the soothsayer and ended up with a few knives in the back, the last one administered by Brutus whom he thought was his friend.

Caesar's misfortune was that he was not a member of his local GAA club. If he had kept up his membership, played a bit of junior and moved up through various committees, he would have been well versed in the art of watching his back. When I read Páraic Duffy's annual report to Congress I could only conclude that the daggers in the Association are held by those in powerful positions. Many dangerous areas are touched on in the report, the lack of discipline in games, the unwillingness to accept GAA policy with regard to payments to managers and, probably worst of all, the absolute flouting of the closed season.

The frustrations involved in running a sport where decisions that are taken very democratically, and are undermined by many of those taking them, only surface occasionally. Yet Duffy wouldn't be human if he didn't blow a head gasket when he sits down with some county chairmen, knowing that they will allow their own counties do the exact opposite of what is decided at central level.

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